Over the past few years, the focus of robotic design has been moving from a scenario where a few specialized (and expensive) units were used to solve a variety of tasks, to a scenario where many general purpose (and cheap) units are used to achieve some common goal. Consequently, part of the focus has been to understand better how to coordinate and control a set of such “simpler” mobile units efﬁciently. Studies can be found in different disciplines, from engineering to artiﬁcial life: a shared feature of the majority of these works has been the design of algorithms based on heuristics, with no main concern on their correctness and termination. Few researchers have focused on trying to model formally an environment constituted by mobile units, analyzing which kind of capabilities they must have in order to achieve their goals; in other words, to study the problem from a computational point of view. In this paper we do a direct comparison between two models, ATOM and CORDA, introduced in two studies leading in this direction. First their main features are described, and then the main differences are highlighted, showing the relationship between the class of problems solvable in the two models.